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13231Re: Judas

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  • Gerry
    Nov 30, 2007
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      --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "Nik" <nicholson2007wan@...> wrote:

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      > Well seeing we are using DeConick's viewpoint on what is evil I don't think there needs to be much debate on the matter since she say's Judus is doing evil by offering Jesus to the archons even according to her interpretation Judas has no choice in the matter. But Judas can not be inherently evil as he must have done some good in his life so he must choose to betray Jesus which would invalidate her interpretation.
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      > Nick
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      Nik, perhaps it's too much for us to "assume" the Judas had done some good in his life.  I mean, would we not also expect that the other apostles had done some good?  Yet, clearly, they are mocked by Jesus in the Gospel of Judas  for their lack of understanding and their bonds to the Demiurge.  If someone is doing good deeds while in the service of Saklas, just how "good" (from a Gnostic perspective) can we really consider those actions?

      As I said in my previous post, I was far from eager to jump on DeConick's bandwagon in the beginning.  I still think I can recall some comments of hers that didn't sit well with me at the time, and I'll happily play Judas's advocate if and when I locate the actual quotes. 

      I agree that the gist of the initial National Geographic translation could easily be viewed from a Gnostic POV, especially considering how many other traditional texts were turned upside down to convey their heretical understanding.  In this case though (translation issues aside), I believe that DeConick is simply suggesting that this work might be even more effective as a Gnostic tool against the proto-orthodox rhetoric by remaining at least somewhat more faithful to the story with which those Christians were already familiar. 

      Similarly, as we often give consideration to the nature of Jesus/Christ when evaluating these texts, we may want to ponder DeConick's arguments concerning the "thirteenth" apostle.  Was Judas possessed by Yaldabaoth, or in some way destined to unite with him?  Was he just a regular man with the ability to choose?  Was he a regular man afflicted with the Counterfeit Spirit? 

      Like you, I hate to feel like it's necessary to write off completely someone like the character of Judas, but issues involving predestiny often bring me to that point.  As distasteful as it may seem at times, how did the Sethians view it?

      Gerry

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